What Is a Headstone and What Is It Made Of?

August 12, 2015

We have all visited a cemeteryand seen all the headstones with inscriptions on them. But what is a headstone really?

They are in memory of the buried deceased. Stonemasons make these headstones out of stone or granite. The headstone then stands at the head of the grave. Sometimes there are different headstones for different types of burials, be it Jewish, Christian or Muslim religions, amongst others.

On the headstone is usually the name of the dead person, her date of birth and the date of her death.

Often a personal message or a prayer appears on the headstone. Particularly in Europe, you will find that many tombstones have insets with a photograph of the deceased , and in Singapore, headstones made in marble are a popular choice.

To Mourn and Commemorate the Passing of a Loved one

HeadstoneToday, all the memorials on the grave are there as the focus for mourning and remembering the deceased loved one. Often, names of relatives appear on a gravestone as the years pass. Sometimes the headstone will chronicle the passing on of a whole family spread over the years and decades.

There are gravestones which cost a lot of money. Many times, they are a symbol of wealth and even prominence of a family in a particular community.

Some people commission and erect their gravestones before they die. This is of course just to show off their status and wealth.

Often in the Christian context, elaborate memorials stand inside the church as opposed to the church graveyard. Today there are the crematoria which are offered to families who do not have a gravestone for a loved one. They want to focus more on the remembrance and the mourning. Inside a crematorium, you will find commemorative plaques with names, dates of births and deaths.

What Will be Inscribed on your Headstone?

Headstones made of granite, marble or other stones are often designed, created and repaired by people known as monumental masons. Cemeteries get regularly inspected and maintained in case of falling stone and to ensure that the markers do not become overgrown and vandalized.

Headstones are made of fieldstone, but nowadays, you can choose from granite, limestone, marble, sandstone and slate. Most of these take the lettering on the headstone well.

At the turn of the century, there were headstone engravers who faced the 2000th year problem. That is because a number of people pre-purchased headstones. They had outlived expectations and lived and died in the 21st century.

Custom Designed Headstones

Headstones can be upright or semi-circular, round, pointed or arched. Today, you can choose whatever type of headstone you would like over your grave, it depends on you as well as how much money you can afford.

Funeral headstone experts realise the importance of choice when it comes to tombstones for a family member. They have graphic designers who will custom design a stone so that it represents the life of person over whom it keeps guard.

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All info was correct at time of publishing